Graphic Video of Russian Trans Woman Being Beaten Surfaces Online
A number of news sources are reporting that a graphic video showing what appears to be a Russian transgender woman being attacked has surfaced on the Internet.
Five men allegedly ambush and brutally attack the unnamed transgender woman in a public park during broad daylight. In the video, the men knock the victim to the ground, kick and punch her repeatedly while laughing and talking to each other in Russian. They also drag her around the park causing the woman's skirt falls off. The men then kick her in the buttocks as she crawls on all fours, trying to escape. There also appears to be a witness who stands around, taking no action against the attack.
The video is titled, "Violent attack on Trans woman by five men in Russia," and was uploaded by YouTube user GayWaterford on Aug. 19.
"This video is of anti-LGBT activists in Russia, five men brutally beating a trans woman in broad daylight, in a public park," the user wrote in the video's description. "The video, posted on popular Russian social networking site VK, appeared on a page titled Straights for Equality, a group advocating for LGBT rights. The intention was to highlight the persecution of LGBT people in Russia.
"In the video, five men kick the woman in the head and body, and throw her around the park, whilst one of them films the attack. They also remove some of her clothes, and tear her underwear before she runs off," the description reads. "The title of the video refers to the trans woman as a "homosexual", and it also says 'view from 16 years old.' It is unclear how old the victim in the video is, and its origin."
Towards the end of the video, the woman appears to escape.
The video comes shortly after Russian President Vladimir Putin signed the country’s controversial "homosexual propaganda" law on June 30.
According to America Blog, the Russian government "refused to investigate" crimes like the one allegedly depicted in the clip. But the Moscow Times recently published an article, taking notice of anti-gay crimes by groups who lure LGBT teens looking to hook up with older men. One of these groups, which has made headlines, is called the Occupy Gerontophilia, which means having a sexual preference for the elderly.
"At least one official has drawn attention to the potential harm being done by the Occupy Gerontophilia group," the Moscow Times writes. "Federation Council Senator Konstantin Dobrynin appealed to Investigative Committee head Alexander Bastrykin and Prosecutor General Yury Chaika over the matter earlier this month, saying a probe should be opened to determine whether the group’s leader and members could be held criminally liable for ’coercion to perform acts of a sexual nature.’ The charge carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison."
The report goes on to say that groups like Occupy Gerontophilia use the Russian social media site Vkontakte to lure LGBT teens. The site’s officials have "been responsive to the increasing public outcry over the group’s activities, blocking its official page," however. The article then questions why it’s taken so long for authorities to respond to these anti-gay attacks, writing that some have suggested the reaction from officials "isn’t sincere."
"It’s pure PR," former Pussy Riot lawyer Mark Feigin told the Moscow Times. "The fact that the perpetrators are minors makes it very difficult to prosecute them." Feigin added that the criminal charge Dobrynin called for would likely not hold up in court."
Watch a clip of the attack below (WARNING: extremely graphic):